Established in 1857
The walk from the car park picnic area to the mine entrance is about 600 metres. Keep to the track, with the Bonang River on your left until you meet up with the water race which leads you to the mouth of the Aurora mine.
1. Old Mine
The Bonang area in th 1850-80s was alive with miners searching for their fortunes. The region is scattered with numerous mines such as this, most have collapsed and are overgrown. The remains of the diggings can be seen in the mullock heaps.
· Why did the miners choose to dig here?
2. River flats
The river flats provided the miners with a level area to set up camp and be close to the mine. After working for 16-18 hours a day the last thing a tired and weary miner wanted was to walk long distances. Heavy rain and flooding reeked havoc through the miners camp.
· It took six days for a bullock team to reach this spot from Orbost, can you imagine living here?
3. Water Race
The water race carried water from the Bonang river for 7.5 miles to a water wheel 2.5 miles down stream from the mine. The water wheel drove the battery which crushed the ore.
· Why wasn’t the water wheel driven directly by the river?
4. Large Tree Stump
The mine, and workers used a large amount of timber from the immediate area. Large tree stumps are all that are left of what were once forest giants. To fell large trees, climbing boards were used so that the axemen could fell the trees above hollow and rotten butts. Cuts were made in the trees into which special boards were placed upon which the axemen balanced while cutting down the trees. Sometimes up to 10 boards were placed above on another to reach the right height.
· Imagine standing on a board 6 inches wide, high up off the ground while swinging an axe into the massive trunks.
· Can you hear the poomp, poomp, poomp of the engine used to pump fresh air to the miners 600 feet inside the mountain?
Welcome to the Aurora Mine